Langley, BC — Sixteen-year-old Sloane Betker (CAN) recorded the biggest win of her young career Thursday at Thunderbird Show Park, besting the Foxstone Stables USHJA International Hunter Derby.
The teenager—fresh off representing her country in the North American Youth Championships (USA)—rode her own Crack to victory with a final score of 343. Nicole Bourgeois (USA) finished second with Wayfinder (343), with Travis Root (USA) and Kadalora third (317).
Betker set herself apart with a tremendous Handy Round, impressing with a bold hand gallop that shot her to the top of the leaderboard. She sat second after the Classic Round.
“I just went for it. I knew that I wasn’t winning, so I had to put the pressure on the rest of them and go for it,” she said.
Betker has been paired with Crack for a year and a half. Originally leasing the gelding, her family purchased the chestnut by the end of the lease. The pair specializes in the equitation divisions and hunter derbies.
“I was looking for an eq horse, and I ended up leasing him at the start of last year. And then we bought him at the end of the year,” Betker said. “When he’s in the ring, he’s perfect. But outside the ring, he’s definitely special.”
Foxstone Stables USHJA International Hunter Derby
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Score
1. Crack / Sloane Betker / CAN / Sloane Betker / 347
2. Wayfinder / Nicole Bourgeois / USA / Hilary Sosne / 343
3. Kadalora / Travis Root / USA / Tanya Hardy / 317
4. Old Times LS / Samantha Smith / USA / Red Gate Farm LLC / 316
5. The Great Gatsby / Rodney Tulloch / CAN / Paige Brusatore / 305
6. Talaro PS / Philippa Melski / USA / Mila Anderson / 293
7. Momma Citta / Ruby Wall / CAN / Ruby Wall / 287
8. Big Ticket / Colby Winther Konig / CAN / Sorine Winther / 285
9. No Limit B / Connor Dennis / CAN / Jada Chapleo / 279
10. Tic Tac Toe / Nicole Bourgeois / USA / Amy Bean / 267